National Heroes Day
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani where officials customarily lay wreaths during National Heroes Day
Official nameNational Heroes Day
Observed byPhilippines
TypeSecular, heritage, governmental
SignificanceCommemorates heroes of the country
DateLast Monday in August
2023 dateAugust 28  (2023-08-28)
2024 dateAugust 26  (2024-08-26)
2025 dateAugust 25  (2025-08-25)
2026 dateAugust 31  (2026-08-31)
Frequencyannual

National Heroes Day (Filipino: Pambansang Araw ng mga Bayani[1]) is a holiday in the Philippines dedicated to Filipino Heroes. It is a public holiday in the Philippines.

History

The holiday traces its roots to the Cry of Pugad Lawin in August 1896, which marked the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.[2] The date and the location of the cry has been long disputed. From 1911 to 1962, the cry was thought to have emanated from Balintawak (now in modern-day Balingasa, Quezon City) on August 26.[3] On 1963, by recommendation of historian Teodoro Agoncillo, the date was changed to August 23, and the location was changed to Pugad Lawin in Caloocan (now in modern day Gulod, Novaliches, Quezon City).[4] Due to disputed date, and with the consensus that the cry occurred in late August, the holiday was then set in the last week of August.[3]

The observance of National Heroes Day was already present during the American colonial period. Act No. 3827 by the Philippine Legislature enacted on October 28, 1931, designated every last Sunday of August as National Heroes Day.[5] However, Bonifacio Day established by virtue of Act No. 2946 of 1921 was also dedicated to anonymous Filipino heroes.[6] In practice, National Heroes Day celebrations were observed on the same day as Bonifacio Day. This continued during the Japanese occupation during World War II and some years after the United States granted the Philippines independence in 1946.[7]

President Elpidio Quirino issued Administrative Order No. 190 in 1952 which reverted National Heroes Day back to the last Sunday of August.[8] Administrative Code of 1987 of President Corazon Aquino designated the day as a regular holiday.[9] The date of the holiday was revised again in 2007, this time to the last Monday of August, via Republic Act No. 9492 which was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[7][10]

Commemoration

The law itself does not explicitly name any specific individual to be commemorated during National Heroes Day.[11] Commemorations often include key figures in Philippine history who are regarded as national heroes though it could also include "lesser-known" and "ordinary" Filipinos.[12] Examples include Overseas Filipino Workers[13] and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.[14]

References

  1. ^ "Araw ng mga Bayani 2021" (in Filipino). National Library of the Philippines. 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  2. ^ Jose, Nica. "National Heroes Day: The Story Behind Why We Honor Our Revolutionaries Today". SPOT.PH. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Tan, Nigel (August 25, 2014). "Fast Facts: National Heroes Day". RAPPLER. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "Come August, Remember Balintawak". Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  5. ^ Act No. 3827 (October 27, 1931), An Act to declare the last Sunday of August of every year as an official holiday to be known as the National Heroes Day, retrieved October 2, 2022
  6. ^ Act No. 2946 (February 15, 1921), AN ACT MAKING THE THIRTIETH OF NOVEMBER OF EACH YEAR A LEGAL HOLIDAY, retrieved May 17, 2023
  7. ^ a b "National Heroes Day". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  8. ^ Administrative Order No. 190, s. 1952 (August 11, 1952), Creating a Committee to take charge of the Celebration of National Heroes day on Sunday, August 31, 1952, retrieved May 17, 2023
  9. ^ Executive Order No. 292, s. 1987 (July 25, 1987), Instituting the “Administrative Code of 1987”, retrieved May 17, 2023
  10. ^ Republic Act No. 9492 (July 24, 2007), An Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays Amending for the Purpose Section 26, Chapter 7, Book 1 of Executive Order No. 292, as amended, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, retrieved May 17, 2023
  11. ^ Dela Peña, Kurt (August 29, 2022). "National Heroes Day: Remembering the lesser-known people who fought for freedom". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  12. ^ "Who are considered national heroes?". ABS-CBN News. August 27, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  13. ^ Rocamora, Joyce Ann (August 27, 2018). "OFWs: Modern-day heroes still". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  14. ^ Parrocha, Azer (August 31, 2020). "Front-liners feted as 'modern day heroes'". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved October 2, 2022.